6/19/15 – 5:22 A.M.
As flood waters continue to recede, officials are getting a look at the damage done in Putnam County. The Courier reports representatives from the county’s Emergency Management Agency were in Kalida assessing the damage Thursday. So far no damage estimates are available.
In the meantime, Putnam County residents with water wells are being encouraged to disinfect them. The Putnam County Health Department says this is necessary if you had water around or near the casing, your well was submerged by flood water, or your well is within 100 feet of a flooded stream. The health department is offering to test wells for bacteria once they have been disinfected. For details on how to disinfect a well, go to our website.
Also, the Putnam County Red Cross is offering clean-up kits for residents at their offices in Ottawa.
What you will need:
- 1 gallon of vinegar
- 2 gallons of household bleach (5.25% chlorine)
NOTE: Do not use scented bleach. Use new bottles as household bleach loses effectiveness the longer
it sits on the shelf in a store or in your home.
- Garden hose
Things to do:
- Turn off all electricity to the well area before clearing debris away. Clear away all debris from well area.
- Turn on electricity back to pump.
- Start the pump and run water until it is clear. Use the outside faucet nearest to the well to drain the potentially contaminated water from the well and keep the unsafe well water out of the interior household plumbing. The well should be heavily pumped to remove as much flood water as possible from the casing and geologic formation. Over pumping will help remove flood water from the ground water supply. Do not discharge this water into the septic system, as it could cause the system to be overloaded.
- If a water softener is connected to your water system follow manufacturer’s directions to close valves to bypass the water softener as large amounts of chlorine can damage the resin bed inside softeners.
- Remove well cap.
- Pour 1 gallon of vinegar into well. Wait 1 hour. (This step adjusts the water pH for better disinfection).
- Pour 2 gallons of bleach into well.
- Connect a garden hose to an outside spigot and run water directly into the well. Circulate chlorine water for 30 minutes. Turn off outside tap, remove hose, and replace well cap.
- Disinfect water lines in the house by opening all water fixtures in the house and all outside spigots. Remember to run water into the washing machine, flush all toilets, and rarely or never used faucets. Let the water run until you have a strong odor of chlorine. Be sure to include both hot and cold faucets.
- Disinfect water softener by pouring ¼ to ½ cup of 5% chlorine bleach into the small fill tube on the large brine tank followed by a manual recharge or follow manufacture’s disinfection instructions.
- Close all valves and let sit for 12-24 hours.
- Reconnect hose to the outside spigot and begin running water onto the ground or into a drainage ditch until the chlorine is completely flushed from the system and the chlorine odor disappears. (This may take several hours depending on the depth of the well).
- Open each fixture in the house until chlorine odor is gone.
- System must be purged of chlorine for at least 48 hours before testing.
- Contact Putnam County Health Department at 419-523-5608 to schedule a water sample.
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